last updated 3.10.09
Hatched: 10th October 2007
Weight: 3.74 kg
Current Status: laying
Total number of eggs: 241
Biggest egg: 68 g
Smallest egg: 40 g
Average weight: 58.4 g
Claire was one of the three day-old (well, actually 4 day old) Welsumer chicks we bought from Daniel Pengelley. I think we both had a vague inkling towards the possibility of keeping a female Welsumer as a replacement for Beatrice – Welsumers and Barnevelders both being Dutch breeds developed for their dark brown eggs.
She was very striking, even as a chick – by far the most dramatic eye markings. We had no idea what gender she was then, so referred to her initially as “Cleops”: “Cleo” if she was a girl, “Cheops” if she was a boy.
By about five weeks old, she was definitely a “she”, so we decided to shift her name to something a bit more girly. So we settled on “Claire” – a nice name, and vaguely similar (in my head, at least) to the implied ethnicity of Beatrice.
We’d been wondering who would be last to start laying, Poppy or Claire. And it was pretty much a dead heat: both of them were in and out of the nestbox on the 28th of March. But it was Poppy who laid first. Claire waited another 24 hours, and produced her first egg (with much wingeing) on the 29th. A lovely, rich brown, 40 gram egg.
This is when we discovered that she has her very own, utterly unique “awww, I’ve got an egg. I’ve got an egg, and I gotta lay it now.” noise. It’s almost catlike – definitely mewing, rather than cackling. And it goes on and on and on and on and on and on…
When we mixed the two flocks together, we had to hold Claire back from Poppy and Bessie’s battle. (It’s probably worth pointing out that we had no idea who she might beat up … probably Bessie, but she’s a real opportunist.) So when they had sorted themselves into Number One (Bessie) and Number Two (Poppy), somehow Claire just slotted in to number three. We never saw her doing anything to establish herself there above the two Australorps. She just slid in on Poppy’s tail-feathers, so to speak.
Then when Poppy went through her early moult and tumbled down the pecking order, Claire proved once again what a weasel she is, and joined in the Poppy-harrassing. So now she’s Numero Duo!
It will be very interesting to see what happens when she goes through her moult. Or if Poppy will have regained sufficient mojo after her brooding to deal in a little revenge …